FireFox 3.0…OFFLINE!

No GetFireFox.com is not offline in the sense the site is down but I just read an article describing a proposed feature in FireFox 3.0 that will allow offline access to web apps. They specifically mention writing a mail message in Gmail offline as an example. If this happens, does this make Parakey and Adobe Apollo irrleveant?

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Second Life Speaks

Just finished reading an article on TechCrunch about Linden Labs implementing the ability to “speak” in Second Life. This feature has been a long time in comign as far as I am concerned. I think this is a real step in eventually creating the wanted/needed Metaverse!

March: Boycott the RIAA Month

From Gizmodo: (link to full post)

“In case you missed it, last Friday we declared the month of March Boycott the RIAA Month. We’ve gotten sick and tired of always seeing the RIAA pulling deplorable moves and decided it was time for us to do something about it. We’re kicking the month off with this, our manifesto. We want to be absolutely clear about what this fight is about and why it’s so important. This is an overview of what the RIAA does, why it’s damaging, and what we need to do to stop it. Consider this our planted flag.

First off, we want to be clear that this battle won’t be over on March 31st. We declared March the Boycott the RIAA month to draw a line in the sand and to make a strong statement, but this is merely the beginning. Everything we’re going to lay out here will still be true in April, in May, in June, and in the months that follow. March will be not the entirety of our efforts, but rather a kick off of our organized campaign to make a difference. We’ll be posting tips for how to get the word out, ways to support artists without supporting the RIAA, and keeping you updated with everything that’s going on throughout the entire month. With your help, we can educate people about how important this issue is and really make a difference.”

Thoughts on Windows Home Server

First of all, part of the marketign for this product (http://www.stopdigitalamnesia.com) has to be the worst/cheesy/boomer/junk advertising I have seen in a long time.

That being said, I am impressed with the promise of the new Windows Home Server in what it can do (backup, sharing, ease of use?, etc).  Would love to see an open source project build off of this concept!?

BusinessWeek helps us overhaul the K12 health curriculum

On my way into work this morning I was listening to the Business Week cover story podcast. The subject of the episode was health care in US corporations. Specifically, it was about how Scott’s Miracle Grow is cutting health-care costs and creating healthier employees.

Their strategy, in a nutshell, is to provide advanced health screening for every employee and to provide resources in the form of a health plan and health coaches, free gym membership, nicorette gum, etc. Employees who adopt the screening and plan see their out of pocket health expenses go down. Employees who do not adopt the screening and/or plan see their out of pocket expenses go up and face possible termination.

This approach will obviously test some legal questions specifically an employees health privacy. My gut reaction, however, is that if a company is paying part of the health costs for an employee that do need to be part of the decision making process.

This story led me to think we could use a similar plan in our K12 schools. What if health teachers became health coaches. What if students were provided with advanced screening options that included work with mental health professionals, PE teachers, and the school nurse. What if students discussed what the definition of a healthy person is, set goals to achieve that definition, and monitored their progress. What if we as educators helped students learn about health in a personal, practical, and authentic context. Think of the benefits….better sports teams, fewer visits to the nurse, cost savings for parents, cost savings for health providers and insurance companies, and healthier kids that grow up to be healthier adults. Who loses??? McDonald’s, Phillip Morris, Coca Cola….oh well….

Posted in Ideas. 1 Comment »

Gizmo Call

I was excited today to try out Gizmo Call.  It puts the functionality of Skype or Gizmo Project software inside a browser.  There is a plug-in that must be downloaded, but the process is faster and easier than downloading and installing the full application.  I believe Gizmo Call is based on SIP, not sure if it is GPL.  I am interested to see if this new shift in the model gets Incorporated into other applications or stays on its own.  Interesting possibilities for students and another arrow in the web-based quiver.